Miss Joanna Sakowska

Postgraduate Research Student

Academic and research departments

Astrophysics Research Group.


My research project


W. Cerny, Joshua D. Simon, TIANRU LI, A Drlica-Wagner, A.B Pace, C. E Martınez-Vazquez, A. H. Riley, B. Mutlu-Pakdil, S Mau, P. S. Ferguson, DENIS ERKAL, Ricardo R. Muñoz, C. R Bom, J. L. Carlin, D. Carollo, Y. Choi, A. P. Ji, D Martınez-Delgado, V Manwadkar, A. E Miller, NOELIA ESTELLA DONATA NOEL, Joanna D Sakowska, D. J. Sand, G. S. Stringfellow, E. J. Tollerud, AK Vivas, Julio A. Carballo-Bello, D. Hernandez-Lang, DEBORAH JAMES, J. L. Nilo Castellon, K. A. G Olsen, A. Zenteno (2022)Pegasus IV: Discovery and Spectroscopic Confirmation of an Ultra-Faint Dwarf Galaxy in the Constellation Pegasus

We report the discovery of Pegasus IV, an ultra-faint dwarf galaxy found in archival data from the Dark Energy Camera processed by the DECam Local Volume Exploration Survey. Pegasus IV is a compact, ultra-faint stellar system ($r_{1/2} = 41^{+8}_{-6}$ pc; $M_V = -4.25 \pm 0.2$ mag) located at a heliocentric distance of $90^{+4}_{-6}$ kpc. Based on spectra of seven non-variable member stars observed with Magellan/IMACS, we confidently resolve Pegasus IV's velocity dispersion, measuring $\sigma_{v} = 3.3^{+1.7}_{-1.1} \text{ km s}^{-1}$ (after excluding three velocity outliers); this implies a mass-to-light ratio of $M_{1/2}/L_{V,1/2} = 167^{+224}_{-99} M_{\odot}/L_{\odot}$ for the system. From the five stars with the highest signal-to-noise spectra, we also measure a systemic metallicity of $\rm [Fe/H] = -2.67^{+0.25}_{-0.29}$ dex, making Pegasus IV one of the most metal-poor ultra-faint dwarfs. We tentatively resolve a non-zero metallicity dispersion for the system. These measurements provide strong evidence that Pegasus IV is a dark-matter-dominated dwarf galaxy, rather than a star cluster. We measure Pegasus IV's proper motion using data from Gaia Early Data Release 3, finding ($\mu_{\alpha*}, \mu_{\delta}) = (0.33\pm 0.07, -0.21 \pm 0.08) \text{ mas yr}^{-1}$. When combined with our measured systemic velocity, this proper motion suggests that Pegasus IV is on an elliptical, retrograde orbit, and is currently near its orbital apocenter. Lastly, we identify three potential RR Lyrae variable stars within Pegasus IV, including one candidate member located more than ten half-light radii away from the system's centroid. The discovery of yet another ultra-faint dwarf galaxy strongly suggests that the census of Milky Way satellites is still incomplete, even within 100 kpc.

A Drlica-Wagner, P. S. Ferguson, M. Adamów, M Aguena, F Andrade-Oliveira, D Bacon, K Bechtol, Eric F. Bell, E Bertin, P Bilaji, S Bocquet, C. R Bom, D Brooks, DL Burke, Julio A. Carballo-Bello, J. L. Carlin, AC Rosell, MC Kind, J Carretero, FJ Castander, W. Cerny, Chao-Hsi Chang, Y. Choi, C Conselice, M Costanzi, D. Crnojević, LN da Costa, J. De Vicente, S Desai, J Esteves, S. Everett, I Ferrero, MF Fitzpatrick, B Flaugher, D Friedel, J Frieman, J. Garcia-Bellido, M Gatti, E Gaztanaga, DW Gerdes, D Gruen, RA Gruendl, J. Gschwend, W Hartley, D. Hernandez-Lang, S. R Hinton, D.L Hollowood, K Honscheid, ASHLEY KATE HUGHES, A Jacques, DEBORAH JAMES, M. D Johnson, K Kuehn, N Kuropatkin, O Lahav, TIANRU LI, C. Lidman, Hong Lin, M March, J. L. Marshall, D Martinez-Delgado, C. E. Martínez-Vázquez, POL MASSANA ZAPATA, S Mau, M. McNanna, P Melchior, F. Menanteau, A. E Miller, R Miquel, J Mohr, R Morgan, B. Mutlu-Pakdil, Ricardo R. Muñoz, E Neilsen, David L Nidever, R Nikutta, J. L. Nilo Castellon, NOELIA ESTELLA DONATA NOEL, R L C Ogando, K. A. G Olsen, A.B Pace, A. Palmese, F. Paz-Chinchon, M. E. S Pereira, A Pieres, A. A. Plazas Malagón, J Prat, A. H. Riley, M Rodriguez-Monroy, AK Romer, A Roodman, M Sako, Joanna D Sakowska, E Sanchez, F. J Sánchez, D. J. Sand, L. Santana-Silva, B Santiago, M Schubnell, S. Serrano, I Sevilla-Noarbe, Joshua D. Simon, MATTHEW LLOYD SMITH, M Soares-Santos, G Stringfellow, E Suchyta, DJ Suson, C. Y Tan, G Tarle, K. Tavangar, DR Thomas, Cheryl To, E. J. Tollerud, M. A Troxel, D Tucker, T. N Varga, AK Vivas, Alistair Walker, JODIE WELLER, Ryan Wilkinson, J. Wu, B Yanny, E Zaborowski, A. Zenteno (2022)The DECam Local Volume Exploration Survey Data Release 2, In: The Astrophysical journal Supplement series261(2) IOP Publishing

We present the second public data release (DR2) from the DECam Local Volume Exploration survey (DELVE). DELVE DR2 combines new DECam observations with archival DECam data from the Dark Energy Survey, the DECam Legacy Survey, and other DECam community programs. DELVE DR2 consists of ~160,000 exposures that cover >21,000 deg^2 of the high Galactic latitude (|b| > 10 deg) sky in four broadband optical/near-infrared filters (g, r, i, z). DELVE DR2 provides point-source and automatic aperture photometry for ~2.5 billion astronomical sources with a median 5{\sigma} point-source depth of g=24.3, r=23.9, i=23.5, and z=22.8 mag. A region of ~17,000 deg^2 has been imaged in all four filters, providing four-band photometric measurements for ~618 million astronomical sources. DELVE DR2 covers more than four times the area of the previous DELVE data release and contains roughly five times as many astronomical objects. DELVE DR2 is publicly available via the NOIRLab Astro Data Lab science platform.

Pol Massana, T. Ruiz-Lara, Noelia E. D. Noël, C Gallart, David L Nidever, Y. Choi, Joanna D Sakowska, Gurtina Besla, K. A. G Olsen, Mateo Monelli, A Dorta, G. S. Stringfellow, S. Cassisi, Edouard Bernard, Dennis Zaritsky, Maria-Rosa L. Cioni, Antonela Monachesi, Roeland van der Marel, T. J. L de Boer, Alistair Walker (2022)The synchronised dance of the Magellanic Clouds' star formation history, In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters513(1)pp. L40-L45

We use the SMASH survey to obtain unprecedented deep photometry reaching down to the oldest main sequence turn-offs in the colour-magnitude diagrams (CMDs) of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) and quantitatively derive its star formation history (SFH) using CMD fitting techniques. We identify five distinctive peaks of star formation in the last 3.5 Gyr, at $\sim $3, $\sim$2, $\sim$1.1, $\sim $0.45 Gyr ago, and one presently. We compare these to the SFH of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) finding unequivocal synchronicity, with both galaxies displaying similar periods of enhanced star formation over the past $\sim$3.5 Gyr. The parallelism between their SFHs indicates that tidal interactions between the MCs have recurrently played an important role in their evolution for at least the last $\sim$3.5 Gyr, tidally truncating the SMC and shaping the LMC's spiral arm. We show, for the first time, an SMC-LMC correlated SFH at recent times in which enhancements of star formation are localised in the northern spiral arm of the LMC, and globally across the SMC. These novel findings should be used to constrain not only the orbital history of the MCs but also how star formation should be treated in simulations.

W. Cerny, A.B Pace, A Drlica-Wagner, S. E. Koposov, A. K. Vivas, S Mau, A. H. Riley, C. R Bom, J. L. Carlin, Y. Choi, DENIS ERKAL, P. S. Ferguson, D. J. James, T. S. Li, D Martinez-Delgado, C. E. Martínez-Vázquez, Ricardo R. Muñoz, B. Mutlu-Pakdil, K. A. G. Olsen, A Pieres, Joanna D Sakowska, D. J. Sand, J. D. Simon, A Smercina, G. S. Stringfellow, E. J. Tollerud, M. Adamów, D. Hernandez-Lang, N Kuropatkin, L. Santana-Silva, D. L. Tucker, A. Zenteno, (2021)Eridanus IV: an Ultra-Faint Dwarf Galaxy Candidate Discovered in the DECam Local Volume Exploration Survey, In: The Astrophysical Journal Letters920(2) IOP

We present the discovery of a candidate ultra-faint Milky Way satellite, Eridanus IV (DELVE J0505$-$0931), detected in photometric data from the DECam Local Volume Exploration survey (DELVE). Eridanus IV is a faint ($M_V = -4.7 \pm 0.2$), extended ($r_{1/2} = 75^{+16}_{-13}$ pc), and elliptical ($\epsilon = 0.54 \pm 0.1$) system at a heliocentric distance of $76.7^{+4.0}_{-6.1}$ kpc, with a stellar population that is well-described by an old, metal-poor isochrone (age of $\tau \sim 13.0$ Gyr and metallicity of ${\rm [Fe/H] \lesssim -2.1}$ dex). These properties are consistent with the known population of ultra-faint Milky Way satellite galaxies. Eridanus IV is also prominently detected using proper motion measurements from Gaia Early Data Release 3, with a systemic proper motion of $(\mu_{\alpha} \cos \delta, \mu_{\delta}) = (+0.25 \pm 0.06, -0.10 \pm 0.05)$ mas yr$^{-1}$ measured from its horizontal branch and red giant branch member stars. We find that the spatial distribution of likely member stars hints at the possibility that the system is undergoing tidal disruption.

P. S. Ferguson, J. D. Sakowska, N. Shipp, A Drlica-Wagner, T. S. Li, W. Cerny, K. Tavangar, A. B. Pace, J. L. Marshall, A. H. Riley, M. Adamów, J. L. Carlin, Y. Choi, D. Erkal, D. J. James, Sergey E. Koposov, N Kuropatkin, C. E. Martínez-Vázquez, S Mau, B. Mutlu-Pakdil, K. A. G. Olsen, G. S. Stringfellow, B Yanny (2021)DELVE-ing into the Jet: a thin stellar stream on a retrograde orbit at 30 kpc, In: Astrophysical Journal American Astronomical Society

We perform a detailed photometric and astrometric analysis of stars in the Jet stream using data from the first data release of the DECam Local Volume Exploration Survey (DELVE) DR1 and Gaia EDR3. We discover that the stream extends over ∼ 29 • on the sky (increasing the known length by 18 •), which is comparable to the kinematically cold Phoenix, ATLAS, and GD-1 streams. Using blue horizontal branch stars, we resolve a distance gradient along the Jet stream of 0.2 kpc/deg, with distances ranging from D ∼ 27−34 kpc. We use natural splines to simultaneously fit the stream track, width, and intensity to quantitatively characterize density variations in the Jet stream, including a large gap, and identify substructure off the main track of the stream. Furthermore, we report the first measurement of the proper motion of the Jet stream and find that it is well-aligned with the stream track suggesting the stream has likely not been significantly perturbed perpendicular to the line of sight. Corresponding author: Peter Ferguson peter.ferguson@wisc.edu 2 DELVE Collaboration Finally, we fit the stream with a dynamical model and find that the stream is on a retrograde orbit, and is well fit by a gravitational potential including the Milky Way and Large Magellanic Cloud. These results indicate the Jet stream is an excellent candidate for future studies with deeper photometry, astrometry, and spectroscopy to study the potential of the Milky Way and probe perturbations from baryonic and dark matter substructure.

David L Nidever, Knut Olsen, Yumi Choi, Tomas Ruiz-Lara, Amy E Miller, L. Clifton Johnson, Cameron P. M Bell, Robert D Blum, Maria-Rosa L Cioni, Carme Gallart, Steven R Majewski, Nicolas F Martin, Pol Massana, Antonela Monachesi, Noelia E. D Noel, Joanna D Sakowska, Roeland P van der Marel, Alistair R Walker, Dennis Zaritsky, Eric F Bell, Blair C Conn, Thomas J. L de Boer, Robert A Gruendl, Matteo Monelli, Ricardo R Munoz, Abhijit Saha, A. Katherina Vivas, Edouard Bernard, Gurtina Besla, Julio A Carballo-Bello, Antonio Dorta, David Martinez-Delgado, Alex Goater, Vadim Rusakov, Guy S Stringfellow (2020)The Second Data Release of the Survey of the MAgellanic Stellar History (SMASH), In: The Astronomical journal161(2)74 IOP

The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC) are the largest satellite galaxies of the Milky Way and close enough to allow for a detailed exploration of their structure and formation history. The Survey of the MAgellanic Stellar History (SMASH) is a community Dark Energy Camera (DECam) survey of the Magellanic Clouds using ~50 nights to sample over ~2400 deg2 centered on the Clouds at ~20% filling factor (but with contiguous coverage in the central regions) and to depths of ~24th mag in ugriz. The primary goals of SMASH are to map out the extended stellar peripheries of the Clouds and uncover their complicated interaction and accretion history as well as to derive spatially resolved star formation histories of the central regions and create a "movie" of their past star formation. Here we announce the second SMASH public data release (DR2), which contains all 197 fully calibrated DECam fields including the main body fields in the central regions. The DR2 data are available through the Astro Data Lab hosted by the NSF's National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory. We highlight three science cases that make use of the SMASH DR2 data and will be published in the future: (1) preliminary star formation histories of the LMC, (2) the search for Magellanic star clusters using citizen scientists, and, (3) photometric metallicities of Magellanic Cloud stars using the DECam u-band.

A Drlica-Wagner, Jeffrey L Carlin, David L Nidever, P. S. Ferguson, N Kuropatkin, M. Adamów, W. Cerny, Yumi Choi, J Esteves, C. E. Martínez-Vázquez, S Mau, A. E Miller, B. Mutlu-Pakdil, E Neilsen, K Olsen, A.B Pace, A. H. Riley, Joanna D Sakowska, DJ Sand, L. Santana-Silva, EJ Tollerud, D Tucker, AK Vivas, E Zaborowski, A. Zenteno, T Abbott, S Allam, K Bechtol, C Bell, Eric F. Bell, P Bilaji, C. R Bom, Julio A. Carballo-Bello, D. Crnojević, Maria-Rosa L. Cioni, A Diaz-Ocampo, T. L de Boer, DENIS ERKAL, RA Gruendl, D. Hernandez-Lang, ASHLEY KATE HUGHES, DEBORAH JAMES, L Johnson, TIANRU LI, Y.-Y. Mao, D Martinez-Delgado, POL MASSANA ZAPATA, M. McNanna, R Morgan, E. O. Nadler, NED Noël, A. Palmese, AHG Peter, ES Rykoff, JLG Sanchez, N. Shipp, Joshua D. Simon, A Smercina, M Soares-Santos, G Stringfellow, K. Tavangar, Roeland van der Marel, Alistair Walker, RH Wechsler, J. Wu, B Yanny, MF Fitzpatrick, Luan Huang, A Jacques, R Nikutta, AMY SCOTT (2021)The DECam Local Volume Exploration Survey: Overview and First Data Release, In: The Astrophysical journal. Supplement series256(2) IOP Publishing

The DECam Local Volume Exploration survey (DELVE) is a 126-night survey program on the 4 m Blanco Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. DELVE seeks to understand the characteristics of faint satellite galaxies and other resolved stellar substructures over a range of environments in the Local Volume. DELVE will combine new DECam observations with archival DECam data to cover ~15,000 deg2 of high Galactic latitude (|b| > 10°) southern sky to a 5σ depth of g, r, i, z ~ 23.5 mag. In addition, DELVE will cover a region of ~2200 deg2 around the Magellanic Clouds to a depth of g, r, i ~ 24.5 mag and an area of ~135 deg2 around four Magellanic analogs to a depth of g, i ~ 25.5 mag. Here, we present an overview of the DELVE program and progress to date. Furthermore, we also summarize the first DELVE public data release (DELVE DR1), which provides point-source and automatic aperture photometry for ~520 million astronomical sources covering ~5000 deg2 of the southern sky to a 5σ point-source depth of g = 24.3 mag, r = 23.9 mag, i = 23.3 mag, and z = 22.8 mag. DELVE DR1 is publicly available via the NOIRLab Astro Data Lab science platform.

C. E. Martínez-Vázquez, W. Cerny, A. K. Vivas, A Drlica-Wagner, A.B Pace, J. D. Simon, R. R. Munoz, A. R. Walker, S Allam, D. L. Tucker, M. Adamów, J. L. Carlin, Y. Choi, P. S. Ferguson, A. P. Ji, N Kuropatkin, T. S. Li, D Martinez-Delgado, S Mau, B. Mutlu-Pakdil, D. L. Nidever, A. H. Riley, Joanna D Sakowska, D. J. Sand, G. S. Stringfellow, (2021)RR Lyrae stars in the newly discovered ultra-faint dwarf galaxy Centaurus I, In: The Astronomical journal162(6)

We report the detection of three RR Lyrae (RRL) stars (two RRc and one RRab) in the ultra-faint dwarf (UFD) galaxy Centaurus I (CenI) and two Milky Way (MW) $\delta$ Scuti/SX Phoenicis stars based on multi-epoch $giz$ DECam observations. The two RRc stars are located within 2 times the half-light radius (r$_h$) of Cen I, while the RRab star (CenI-V3) is at $\sim6$ r$_h$. The presence of three distant RRL stars clustered this tightly in space represents a 4.7$\sigma$ excess relative to the smooth distribution of RRL in the Galactic halo. Using the newly detected RRL stars, we obtain a distance modulus to Cen I of $\mu_0 = 20.354 \pm 0.002$ mag ($\sigma=0.03$ mag), a heliocentric distance of D$_\odot = 117.7 \pm 0.1$ kpc ($\sigma=1.6$ kpc), with systematic errors of $0.07$ mag and $4$ kpc. The location of the Cen I RRL stars in the Bailey diagram is in agreement with other UFD galaxies (mainly Oosterhoff II). Finally, we study the relative rate of RRc+RRd (RRcd) stars ($f_{cd}$) in UFD and classical dwarf galaxies. The full sample of MW dwarf galaxies gives a mean of $f_{cd} = 0.28$. While several UFD galaxies, such as Cen I, present higher RRcd ratios, if we combine the RRL populations of all UFD galaxies, the RRcd ratio is similar to the one obtained for the classical dwarfs ($f_{cd}$ $\sim$ 0.3). Therefore, there is no evidence for a different fraction of RRcd stars in UFD and classical dwarf galaxies.